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Natural UAE


The island of Kafai and archipelago of Muhaiyimat lie close to the sea frontier with Qatar. To date only Kafai has a permanent human presence. Muhaiyimat has been left to the birds and supports substantial and internationally important seabird colonies, including the second largest lesser crested terns (Sterna bengalensis) colony of any in Abu Dhabi. A substantial population of ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) is also supported, despite the human presence. Sooty falcons (Falco concolor) are also to be found breeding. This fascinating species delays nesting until late in the summer so that the autumn migration of migrant songbird and other bird prey is in full swing when it has its own nestlings to feed.

The archaeological record here is scant but a well-preserved cistern, some 6m by 3m by 3m deep, exists on Kafai. This is one of the best examples of its kind, and, although undated, certainly shows evidence of renovation in recent decades.

Fishermen still visit the area today as they did on occasion in the past, with a group of Moslem graves being found on the southernmost of the islands of Muhaiyimat.

Mangrove is found in the sheltered lagoon on Kafai, and there is extensive coral development around the coast here
as well as in the waters surrounding Muhaiyimat.

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